Old West Austin is all set to serve you.
Old West Austin is one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, dating back to the mid-nineteenth century. Governor Elisha Pease’s descendants began subdividing his estate around 1916, and the neighborhood was given the name Enfield. It was touted as a spot where “one is distant from the city’s noises, yet a 10-minute walk or three-minute drive gets him to the city’s business district” by realtors at the time. For an area that has undergone tremendous commercial growth, this feature still holds today. Between Lady Bird Lake and Enfield Road, Old West Austin is bounded by Mopac and Lamar Boulevards and has narrow streets, close houses, and Clarksville’s 10-block state historical area. “There’s an old-fashioned community atmosphere over here,” says Mary Reed, head of the Clarksville Community Development Corporation.
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Clarksville and Old West Austin eateries reflect the neighborhood’s diversity—one of the few places in the city where low-income apartments coexist with multimillion-dollar homes. Nau’s Enfield Drug and Jeffrey’s are located at the corner of West Lynn and 12th Street. Nau’s Drugstore is a 65-year-old pharmacy with a soda fountain in the back that serves breakfast and lunch.
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Locally held businesses also have a little history to them. With multiple antique shops built within the former Coca-Cola bottling facility, Whit Hanks Antiques is a home décor delight. El Interior, which opened 36 years ago, specializes in apparel, jewelry, and home furnishings from Mexico and Guatemala. Fresh Plus is a great place to go for hard-to-find, locally sourced groceries, and beverages.
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People congregate on the neighborhood’s sidewalks, but Caffe Medici has become a focal point for all locals. The cafe, which is housed in a historic house, has both indoor and outdoor seating. Mean Eyed Cat is one of the few bars in the neighborhood that serves anything a little stronger than coffee. This kitty delivers a distinctly Austin experience with its Johnny Cash–themed decor, Stubb’s barbeque, and cocktails, including A Drink, Named Sue.